Sunday January 26, 2014
Hi everyone. We're slowly striking a better balance between inventory acquisition and listing/selling. At least, the dining room table was finally cleared off for a brief day - before being loaded up with more inventory. Here's some of the recent (and not so recent) finds:
In the previous post, and many before that, I kept saying I'd pick up less dinnerware. It's funny, sometimes the more you say you won't do something - the more you end up doing it! I couldn't pass on these Vera Neumann for Mikasa dinner plates, even though there were only two of them. The color was just so vibrant and the design was great.
Continuing the blue theme, I'd picked up this likely California pottery vase quite a while back. We're pretty good at identifying the stuff, because we see so much of it out here. But this one has remained non-identified. I had some thoughts it might be Pacific, because the dark cobalt blue with lighter blue speckle was a dead ringer for some known Pacific pieces we've found previously. We don't have the Pacific book, so weren't able to check. It also looked slightly similar to a Fred Johnson Bauer hi-fire vase, but the shape is not right.
These Blenko bottles are always a favorite to find for us. There were two of them at an extremely pricey (aren't they all) mid century estate we went to about a month ago. This is the first time we've found one (the turquoise bottle) that had a sandblasted Blenko mark on the bottom, which actually dates it to a very specific range of 1958-1961. The pink-ish one, I'm not exactly sure the color but it may be newer, possibly Dusty Rose.
I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the DeGrazia stuff. We usually pass on it, but this stained glass piece was signed and numbered. Apparently, they're a little tough to come by - it's already sold!
This "Finlandia" series bowl for Iittala was designed by Timo Sarpaneva. It had damage, but what drew me to it was that it was fully signed on the bottom. I think this line is harder to find.
More Dorothy Thorpe glass pieces. I've sold a swoop bowl like this before, but I hadn't found one that had gold color on it before. Not sure if that's actual gold, but believe it might be. The shape is also slightly different on that one. We haven't listed these up yet, as I'm still trying to figure out the story on the gold one.
Lastly - here is the "doorway to Norway" ;) I walked through the doorway of a house right down the hill from us that was having an estate sale. It was a bit of a time warp - not the amazing mid-century goodies type of time warp, but still very cool to see. I'd gotten there 5 minutes late, and all the mid century furniture had been scooped up by a local dealer. But they still missed quite a few things, including this great tomato red Emalox of Norway bowl and plate set. I've never seen this shape of bowl before for Emalox, it seems extra large for stuff they made. I also found what appears to be two very planter pots by Bob Kinzie for Affiliated Craftsmen. Sorry, no picture of it yet - but will report back after looking around some more. They weren't marked, but the style is very similar.
Tuesday January 21, 2014
All the Cathrineholm.
As promised over half a year ago, we decided to put up our Cathrineholm striped bowls on Etsy. To say we're "not that eager" to have them leave the nest is an understatement. But we need to make room for other collections... to be continued ;)
Edit: The yellow bowl has sold already.
Edit: The smaller blue and black bowls have sold.
Monday January 20, 2014
Hi everyone. This method of creating our thrifting blog posts "on the fly" as things are listed has been working out well. Throughout the week, as soon as something is listed for sale, I enter it in a draft post. So at the end of the week, I just need to write the top and bottom blurbs, and maybe fill in a few details if things have sold. Works much better than scrambling for 3 hours to write a post from scratch on the weekend.
As for the title - lately I'm working on trying to "equalize" the amount of time spent between aquisition and listing, as well as trying to find the right balance between where to list them (etsy, ebay or antique booth). It's tough - and there is also that issue lately of trying to decide whether or not to pick something up to start with. I mean, we can usually identify tons of stuff to sell, but if the margin is not enough then it's not a good use of our time. You really need to think that the time spent finding, preparing, listing and packing a $10 margin item would be better spent on the same for a $50 margin item.
This definitely means picking up "less things", but hopefully those things will be higher ticket items. I have to admit, I've always had a tough time switching over to that mentality. It means leaving behind things that you know are valuable, if you can't make enough profit on them.
I got the idea for the title from this Bose 501 active speaker equalizer that I found a few weeks ago. Hard to believe it was at this thrift, whose electronics are usually well picked over. I also had to wait nearly 15 minutes for a couple of guys, who were standing right in front of it looking at a TV, to move - I didn't want to tip them off! This one sold pretty quickly.
I was pleased to find this set of Nuutajarvi bowls in the Flora pattern by Oiva Toikka at the same thrift. One of them still had the sticker on it. We also found one of the smaller bowls, listed up separately here.
I don't know how many times I've told myself to stop buying heavy dinnerware sets. They really tend to break the "not worth it because heavy, hard to ship, and low margin" rule. It was difficult to pass these Arabia Ruska pieces though - we actually found a mess of plates as well. The vegetable server has already sold.
Another Hylayn 496 vase popped up, interestingly at the exact same thrift that I found the other one at almost a year ago. Hyalyn is one of those companies - certain items have good value, but much of the output is greatly (in my opinion) underpriced. We don't find as much of it on the West coast though, which tends to bias my opinion.
Speaking of companies that we don't see much of - Glidden seems to turn up less here as well. I have a hard time not picking it up, even the simple pieces like this gray speckled vase.
Cute set of 5 Danish napkins with soldiers on them. I don't know who made them, but they seem like they're 60s-70s.
Bar glasses and tumblers have done very well in our booth, but I decided to try these cool "Big Money" tumblers on Etsy first. I don't know much about the artist Norma Jean Wright but it appears she did a good number of these type of designs.
I never figured out who did this great looking abstract enamel plate, but it sold in a flash. I probably listed it too low, but hey win some, lose some.
Lastly, I'd originally passed up this Zeisel Harlequin coffee server at a small shop. I know, crazy, right? But at the time, I was also buying a bunch of other things and I just wasn't sure if the margin was worth it. Linda went back with me to the shop later, and convinced me it was worth it - turns out she was right as it sold pretty quickly.
Sunday January 12, 2014
Hi everyone. I decided to start "naming" our thrift posts again, as opposed to just putting a date. It means I'll have to use my brain more, but so be it.
The year has been decent so far, both for thrifting and shop sales. We've made some headway in our backlog of items to list, but we're also starting to pull out some older items from the main shop and our personal
One company that we've been keeping even though we should be selling is Heath Ceramics. Items like the cups and creamer above were just sitting unused in drawers, because we just had a hard time parting. We decided to focus on a single color - the robin's egg blue glaze. I know this is much harder to find and popular, but it'll make it more fun and give us something to look forward to.
I've had a hard time giving up this large Heath serving bowl I found last year, but it was taking up too much space. Our new "blue only" rule makes it easier to list up.
You may see some of our Pyrex collection being listed as well - although we've been putting most of it in the booth. It does fairly well there, mostly because people can avoid the shipping charges on the heavy glass. This Pyrex pie plate was a recent pickup, however. I got it because it had the old original sticker on it.
Lately, we've greatly cut down on the amount of cuter or whimsical Japan and Hong Kong pieces we pick up. But it was hard to resist this quirky Earl Bernard organ grinder guy.
Similar with this Mason's Tiffany Toys children's plate - we mostly got it for the name.
I still have mixed feelings with the KE stuff - it's not our best seller and the value is not always there. It does eventually sell, usually, but it can be tough. But I hadn't seen tiles like this one before, so I decided to try it.
I received the Leslie Pina "Smoke and Ice" and "Fire and Sea" glass books for a Christmas gift. I'd been wanting them for awhile, and while I know a lot of the information can be found online, it's always a different (and sometimes better) learning experience to have a hard copy. I'm not sure why - but it seems to help reinforce my memory. This Aseda Bo Borgstrom vase had the original tag, but I would've recognized it anyway after seeing it in the books.
Lastly, this Andersen Designs sandpiper was a find from quite awhile back. At first I was considering collecting these animals - we already have 2 AD rabbits and I'd found 2 seals that recently got listed up. But I decided I should probably hold off - so up it goes. They don't turn up that frequently for us (Andersen is based in Maine), but it's possible to find them unidentified in thrift stores because the mark does not have the name in it.
OK, that's it for now. Happy thrifting!
Monday January 6, 2014
Hi everyone. Happy new year! Hope 2014 brings you some great thrifting. We took several weeks off of making posts and listing items, but we continued to hit thrifts right up until the new year - so there's a big backlog of items that haven't been blogged about that needs to be gotten to:
Found this cute stone owl and a reproduction of a Mycenaean terracotta bull from the Met at an estate sale that had quite a few items like this. I wasn't able to pull the trigger on many, because the prices were higher and I just wasn't familiar with them. They were, as we say "out of the wheelhouse". If I have one resolution this year, it's to get more familiar with these different areas and topics. Constant learning!
This Hazel Atlas juice carafe looks like it came straight out of a 1950s kitchen. Originally picked it up for the booth, but decided to try it out online first.
I normally pass on the Victoria Littlejohn trivets as the value just usually isn't there, but couldn't resist getting this kitty.
Found some dinnerware in the Annika pattern from Rorstrand Sweden. I think these may be Marianne Westman designs. I'll almost always pick up Rorstrand, because for some reason it seems to be a lot harder to find for us than other Scandinavian companies. Wonder if that's true in other areas too - the cups and saucers went fairly quickly.
Another Dala horse, another quick sale. These seem to do really well for us near the holidays. The rest of the year, they move a little slower.
This Riihimaki Finland vase was in unbelievably bad shape when I spotted it at an estate. The previous owners had filled it with dirt and used it to pot something - but it cleaned up really well. It's marked on bottom, and seems to be an Aladin design.
I spotted this unusual ikebana style vase up on the top shelf of a thrift. It was signed on bottom as Naomi Cahana, but I just took a chance on it without looking it up since the form was really interesting. Turns out it's a harder to find line, as far as I can tell. Not too much info about it online.
Lastly, these cute Arabia plates featuring bear designs by Hanna Taina had to come home with me. I think that these might be depictions of Uppo Nalle (Uppo the Bear) from the children's books by Elina Karjalainen.
OK, that's it for now. We'll get more items blogged soon - happy thrifting in the new year!